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How does SAP Event Management enhance SAP Transportation Management functionality?

SAP Event Management within SAP Transportation Management monitors the execution of the transportation processes as it occurs against the transportation plan.

For example in SAP TM we have the following objects that we would like to track:

  • Freight and Forwarding Orders

  • Freight Booking

  • Freight Units

  • Instructions

  • Equipment

These relevant objects or transactions are compiled in to a comprehensive transportation plan by the transportation planner. The planner tenders the freight to carriers and manage the end-to-end tendering process; they assign the relevant freight units and equipment to orders; they manage freight bookings all to ensure that the products reach the correct destination in the allotted time at the least cost with the most efficient utilization of the available resources…

Once the plan is in execution mode (i.e. the order is in motion) how do we then know that this plan is being followed correctly as it was laid out?

This is where SAP Event Management comes in to play...

It receives events, as and when they occur in the business process that allows it to compare the actual execution data with the corresponding transportation plan. If there is a discrepancy then corrective action can be taken in a timely fashion.

“Time to Insight” is key to ultimately delivering better customer service here. I.e. How much time occurs between when an issue arises and when I am made aware of the issue.

The ability to immediately be made aware of a disruption in your transportation process is invaluable for providing corrective action or, if this is not possible, reset expectations with the customer, thus enhancing their customer experience. The key here is being able to provide concise, correct and timely transportation status updates to the customer.

It doesn’t stop there though. Once the transportation process is completed and the data is sent off to SAP BW or SAP HANA Analytics for analysis, trends can be reviewed to see if the transportation plan is as effective as it can be by reviewing carrier performance, delay / damage events, out of delivery window compliance issues and more… I.e. You have a definitive way to improve the business and if changes are made to the process or data driving the process then you can analyze the effects of the change to see if the desired benefit was achieved or not.

SAP Event Management comes with pre-delivered content (visibility processes) to help with the implementation process of SAP Event Management and in particular with SAP EM for SAP TM processes.

Examples of delivered SAP EM visibility processes include:

  • Fulfillment visibility process – Outbound and Inbound Delivery (Typically extended to include EDI transaction visibility)

  • Transportation visibility process – Freight Orders and Freight Units (Could be extended to include trip route compliance and driver compliance tracking

  • Procurement visibility process (Typically extended to include EDI transaction and transportation / carrier tracking visibility)

  • Returnable transport item visibility process (Tracked containers being filled -> Transported -> Emptied -> Returned -> Repeat process)

  • Serialized Track and Trace (Tracking of serialized items using SAP AII and Object Event Repository (OER))

Events are one common denominator in your supply chain. You can monitor events AS THEY OCCUR (versus mining your BI / BW for historical data to make business decisions). Most importantly, studying planned vs. actual events reveal the inaccuracies or gaps of the planning function. 

Understanding what your employees or partners are doing is a giant step towards solving bottlenecks or constraints in the supply chain.

Why SAP EM with SAP TM?

SAP Event Management provides comprehensive, integrated functionality that supports insight in to significant business processes. Some primary examples are:

  • Proactive identification of risks (and opportunities) in the supply chain

  • Real-time monitoring of supply chain activities – extensible visibility to cross functional processes, assets and results

  • Real-time notifications, of issues to address, sent to assigned individuals based on specific parameters (time-to-insight)

  • Provides the data points needed for measurements and KPIs for decision making

  • Extensive track and trace functions that enable proactive process monitoring, automated exception resolution, proactive alerts as well as drill-down reporting

  • Tracking facilitates location and status updates to customers during in-transit shipments - meets customer expectations - increases customer satisfaction

Outbound Delivery Visibility
Outbound Delivery Visibility in SAP EM Web UI

In general the need in the Supply Chain today is to ensure full visibility to the status of your transport (inbound and outbound) regardless of the location or partner executing the process. This is imperative if you want to provide a consistent, accurate status notification to your customer.

We hear a lot about providing the customer with a consistent message, regardless of the sales channel they followed to get the order and regardless of the fulfillment mechanism we have deployed to fulfill the order (a true omni-channel experience). By deploying SAP EM to monitoring your business process, ANY channel, from any system (end non-SAP), can feed events in to it and update the status accordingly. If you leverage SAP EM as the "master" (single source of truth) for status management in your organization then you can achieve the vision of "a single, consistent view of order / transportation status for our customer".

Note: SAP EM is SAP's standard on-premise solution for Process Track and Trace whereas SAP Global Track and Trace (SAP Business Logistics Network Track and Trace) is SAP's standard cloud solution for the same.

When things don't go according to the plan we need to know that you will do everything in your power to correct it in a timely fashion or you will let me know what the new expectation is that I can work with... This is all a customer ultimately needs...
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